Overton dealing with reality of FAMU’s athletic woes
By St. Clair Murraine
Capital Outlook Staff Writer
Milton Overton, athletic director at FAMU, has the gumption to say what some of his predecessors refused to admit.
“There are cracks in the pillars,” he said, outlining several areas that need immediate attention in FAMU athletic department.
The stoic look on his with such a profound statement was telling.
But, as he talked about his approach to fixing the long-running issues in FAMU’s athletic department, Overton flashed a smile occasionally.
It seemingly was as if he is overjoyed to be the one called to repair what has been broken for more than a decade before he was hired earlier this year.
There has been an air of freshness since his arrival and now that he is putting his plan in action there seems to be a sense of hope.
Not just hope that he could fix the academic issues among student athletes, but in finance and personnel. He’s currently addressing the latter with vigor.
Yes, it means that some people will lose their jobs and be replaced by Overton’s choice.
But change has to be made if things are going to get better. And, although some of Overton’s choices – such as two of former co-workers at his old job at Alabama – might be questioned, he insisted that they aren’t at FAMU as a favor.
“They are coming in here for a specific task; roll up their sleeves and resolve things,” Overton said. “They are going to be working. If you can’t put in 60-70 hour workweek, then you can’t come here.
“I don’t care what you look like, as long as they could do the job.”
That is the bottom line, my friends.
Overton didn’t waste any time getting to work himself. This past football season he made several changes at Bragg Stadium with the addition of new food items in the concession and bank-card machines.
More changes are coming, Overton said, adding that his goal is to “make Bragg pristine.”
Oh, before you get carried away, that’s not a total renovation plan he is talking about. Just making what’s there more fan-friendly. Parking and the often-out-of-order scoreboard are on his list of priorities too for next season.
As for the bigger picture, including the million-dollar deficit that he inherited, Overton has a plan for that. He wants to add two new classics in Miami and Atlanta. FAMU will own both, which would guarantee maximum profits for the university.
None of Overton’s plan is a quick fix.
“I didn’t come for that,” he said. “What I came to do is to move the department back into a position where it can compete for championships. Not just in football, but across the board.”
Now, who can argue with that?